Jeramey Jannene

Governor Issues “Safer at Home” Order

Starting Wednesday no playdates or team sports. People must "start taking this seriously."

By - Mar 24th, 2020 11:32 am
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Tony Evers. Photo by Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Watch.

Tony Evers. Photo by Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Watch.

Governor Tony Evers released a “safer at home” order Tuesday morning.

“I know the COVID-19 outbreak has been difficult and has disrupted the lives of people across our state. Issuing a Safer at Home order isn’t something I thought we’d have to do and it’s not something I take lightly, but here’s the bottom line: folks need to start taking this seriously,” said Evers in a statement.

The 16-page order goes into effect on Wednesday, March 25th at 8:00 a.m. It has been signed into order by Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm.

The state order supersedes any local order once it goes into effect, including one issued by the City of Milwaukee. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett praised Evers for announcing his intent to issue an order on Monday.

The two orders closely mirror one another with no substantial differences. The state order more broadly defines “essential businesses and operations” that are allowed to continue operating.

Essential businesses are allowed to continue operating and are broadly defined in 26 categories as identified by the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), including those that sell groceries and medicine, food and beverage production and agriculture, restaurants, bars (including liquor stores, explicitly no alcohol deliveries), child care settings, organizations that provide charitable and social services, weddings, funerals and religious entities, funeral establishments (no more than nine people in a room), media, gas stations and businesses needed for transportation, financial institutions and services, hardware and supplies stores, critical trades (construction, plumbing, electricians, exterminators, cleaning), shipping and delivery, laundry services, supplies to work from home (selling and manufacture), supplies for essential businesses and operations (selling and manufacture), transportation, home-based care and services, professional services (legal, accounting, insurance, real estate), “manufacturers, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries,” critical labor union functions, hotels and motels, higher educational institutions and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) designated-businesses.

Organizations are encouraged to consult WEDC’s website for guidance with compliance.

The order specifically exempts healthcare operations, including healthcare supply chain businesses and veterinarians, “human service operations,” including long-term care and assisted living facilities, essential infrastructure and essential government functions.

If a business, including non-profits, doesn’t fit in one of the many “essential” categories, it is allowed to maintain “minimum basic operations” which includes security, processing payroll, maintaining inventory and supporting employees working remotely.

The order allows individuals to engage in “outdoor activity,” should they practice social distancing, but not to take their car out for a joy ride. Bars and restaurants are allowed to continue offering carryout and delivery.

Walking, biking, hiking and running are all explicitly permitted. Team sports, including basketball, ultimate frisbee, soccer and football are explicitly prohibited.

Public parks remain open, as do state parks. Playgrounds are closed.

It explicitly prohibits any public or private gatherings of individuals from different households, further shrinking a previous state order that limited gatherings to no more than 10. Playdates, happy hours, small parties are all prohibited.

All public libraries are required to close for in-person service as part of the order. Schools must remain closed for in-person instruction. Placements of “public amusement and activity” including swimming pools, zoos, museums, arcades, children’s play centers, movie theaters, gyms and bowling alleys must all close.

The state order expires on April 24th.

You can read the state’s order in its entirety on Urban Milwaukee.

For more on the city’s order, which will be in effect for eight hours before being superseded by the state’s order, see our coverage from earlier today.

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Categories: Health, Politics

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